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Best Custom Kitchens
De Giulio Kitchen Design 

Best Furniture Designer
Frank Ponterio 

Best Fabricators
555 International

Readers’ Choice
Chicago Luxury Beds  

Best of Design: Products & Pieces

In our homes and around town, this city is bursting with stop-and-stare design. Here, a celebration of the places, people and products keeping Chicago front and center in the design spotlight.

Best Custom Kitchens
De Giulio Kitchen Design

Mick De Giulio has been known for his custom kitchens in Chicago for over 40 years but his impeccable work has caught widespread acclaim as well—including a complete overhaul of a Coppola cousin’s Italian palazzo kitchen (yes, that Coppola family) and induction into the 2016 Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame. He has designed collections for companies such as Kallista, Sub-Zero and Wolf, and SieMatic, and penned two beautiful books, all while overseeing a thriving firm with locations in Chicago and the North Shore: he is, in short, a master at organization and efficiency. But, his kitchen designs also have a sense of personality and style. Case in point: this open-concept kitchen and living area he recently completed in Highland Park. “Because of the kitchen’s small size, every inch was considered for its function,” De Giulio explains. A cabinet with polished stainless steel sides reflects the exterior and holds everyday dishes while appearing to float between the floor-to-ceiling glass walls. He attributes the incredible results to knowing and listening to his clients and not succumbing to trends; we chalk it up to sheer talent. 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. 121, 312.494.9200

Best Furniture Designer
Frank Ponterio

With two furniture collections for Avrett under his belt, available at John Rosselli & Associates, and a recent collaboration with Lee Jofa that was seen at New York’s annual Decoration & Design Building Fall Market, it’s safe to say that local designer Frank Ponterio is holding up Chicago’s reputation for homegrown design talent. Regardless of who he partners with, his pieces all form a versatile collection with a refined, urban sensibility. “Furniture sets the tone in how people interact in a room. It also defines the purpose of a space,” Ponterio explains. His appreciation for timeless European design is evident in the classic lines and elegant yet understated upholstery and finish options. His goal of creating a “sophisticated line that is as stylish as it is inviting” has been achieved several times over, and we predict this is just the start. Kate chandelier, to the trade, John Rosselli & Associates, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. 6-158, 312.822.0760

Best Fabricators
555 International

Chances are high that you’ve found yourself bellied up to one of 555 International’s custom creations—even if you didn’t know it. The award-winning design, development and fabrication firm is the team behind many of the city’s hottest spots (Roister, Coda di Volpe and Bernie’s Lunch & Supper, to name just a few recent projects) and a go-to source for many of the city’s top designers. From custom lighting to large-scale art murals to bars to retail installations, there is nothing that can’t be created in the firm’s 30,000-square-foot south side factory. One example of founder James Geier and the 555 International team’s creativity we are always impressed with is the bar in the Thompson Hotel’s Nico Osteria, where they created an elegantly curved welded steel bar that, thanks to custom lighting fixtures beneath, simply glows. 4501 S. Western Blvd., 773.869.0555

Readers’ Choice
Chicago Luxury Beds 
As any working parent can attest, time is precious and sleep is scarce. Knowing this all too well, 12 years ago, design veteran Mary Pat Wallace decided to focus on quality and started researching mattresses. She discovered the Swedish brand Hästens, and her quality of life was transformed: She had more energy and felt rested. She became so passionate about sharing her experience with others that she opened the first Hästens location in the United States on Wells Street. Her boutique is the city’s exclusive purveyor of the high-end brand (from $4,345), along with Vispring (from $3,075), exclusive monogrammed Sferra linens (price on request), The Pillow Bar pillows (From $200) and Mari Ann silk comforters (from $775). She has even created a custom line of down products to offer clients everything they need for a perfect night’s sleep. With an additional showroom in Lincoln Park, her conviction has caught on. 440 N. Wells St., 312.527.5337

Best of Design: At Home
Best of Design: Out & About
Best of Design: Best Collabs
Best of Design: Best Biz